Being told to evacuate is no doubt disruptive and inconvenient, but it is done to save your life and the lives of your family members and loved ones. Title 20 Section 3117 of the Delaware Code gives law enforcement and those assisting the authority to direct and compel an evacuation.

When a Evacuation is Ordered

The Bethany Beach Police Department, possibly assisted by Volunteers in Police Services (VIPS) and the Bethany Beach Fire Department, will begin a door-to-door notification of the evacuation order.

Each person contacted will be provided with a copy of the Evacuation Order, evacuation routes, and the phone numbers to call to learn of open shelters and their locations. Numbers to call to learn of open shelters and locations:
  • Sussex County Emergency Operations Center (302) 856-7366
  • Bethany Beach Police Department (302) 539-1000
Those that have special needs will be referred to the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center who will contact the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA).

DEMA will arrange transportation for those with special needs to a special needs shelter located in Sussex County. To further inform residents living within Bethany Beach the Town's Police Department will utilize our CodeRed Phone System, and if needed, the State’s reverse 9-1-1 systems to notify residents of the evacuation order.

If the evacuation is hurricane related the evacuation will be completed 24 hours in advance of tropical force winds (40mph) reaching our coast.

Sussex County Evacuation Routes

Ignoring an Evacuation Order

If you are one who ignores an evacuation order:
  • You should be reminded that you will be jeopardizing your life and those of your family There will likely be a time during the storm or event that you will be on you own
  • Your call for assistance will not be answered, as emergency and rescue personnel will not venture out during the height of the storm

Evacuation Tips and Suggestions

  • Use suggested evacuation routes (From Bethany use Rt. 1 or Rt. 26)
  • Leave quickly
  • Keep a full tank of gas in your car Take only one car per family to reduce congestion and delay
  • Consider those family members that have special needs. Take prescription medicines, eye glasses, hearing aids, and infant needs
  • If you do not own a car, make transportation arrangements with a friend or contact the Bethany Beach Police Department (302) 539-1000 who will make arrangements for you Listen to a battery-powered radio and follow evacuation instructions
  • Be alert for washed out roads and bridges
  • Do not drive in flooded areas Stay away from downed power lines
  • Contact phone numbers listed above for available shelters and locations
  • Inform relatives are your out-of-state contact where you are going
  • Take your Go-Bag with you to the shelter
  • Secure your home, close and lock all doors and windows. Unplug electrical equipment. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in
  • Consider taking extra items such as blanket, pillow, air mattress, towel, washcloth, diapers, food, and supplies for infants
  • Consider the needs of your pets and ask where pet sheltering is available